Tithing Settlement a requirement

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mycousinbob
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Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby mycousinbob » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:03 pm

I am not sure this is a question for here but I am just curious to know if tithing settlement can be done over the phone, email, text or other means or does the person need to go in to see the Bishop to declare? I have a member that believes he doesn't need to go in (and is fully capable) but claims he declares when he gets his temple recommend. I did point out that he renews that every two years. I am a former Bishop and I thought that if a person didn't come in and declare then I couldn't declare them as full because I wouldn't know their financial situation. Technology has change a lot of things that we do now. I also believe this is an issue more for the Bishop than me as a clerk but I am scheduling the appointments for him. The handbook states "Members are encouraged to attend tithing settlement to make their declaration to the bishop in person." Does encouraged mean that they can choose? Can they be a full tithe payer if they don't attend tithing settlement? It also states "The tithing status of a member is declared either by the member at tithing settlement or by the bishop."

chriswoodut
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby chriswoodut » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:20 pm

mycousinbob wrote:I am not sure this is a question for here but I am just curious to know if tithing settlement can be done over the phone, email, text or other means or does the person need to go in to see the Bishop to declare? I have a member that believes he doesn't need to go in (and is fully capable) but claims he declares when he gets his temple recommend. I did point out that he renews that every two years. I am a former Bishop and I thought that if a person didn't come in and declare then I couldn't declare them as full because I wouldn't know their financial situation. Technology has change a lot of things that we do now. I also believe this is an issue more for the Bishop than me as a clerk but I am scheduling the appointments for him. The handbook states "Members are encouraged to attend tithing settlement to make their declaration to the bishop in person." Does encouraged mean that they can choose? Can they be a full tithe payer if they don't attend tithing settlement? It also states "The tithing status of a member is declared either by the member at tithing settlement or by the bishop."


My anecdotal experience as a clerk...

I have seen a bishop do it over the phone due to a person's health. I don't think a Bishop is prohibited from declaring someone a full tithe payer if they never come in. I don't think that's what the handbook says. If that were the case, I think the handbook would simply state that. I'm pretty sure way back in my YSA ward days the Bishop would declare someone a full tithe payer that never came in and he never talked to if the dollar amount looked reasonable.

eblood66
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby eblood66 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:23 pm

I know of no policy that says a bishop can't declare someone as a full tithe payer if they don't attend tithing settlement. The software certainly allows it and I believe, for example, that full time missionaries are always declared as full tithe payers by the bishop. There used to be an exempt status and the bishop was not allowed to declare someone as exempt but that status has been eliminated.

Otherwise, I believe you've found the relevant sections of the handbook. As for how to interpret the sections that's a matter for the bishop and the stake president. But as you say, the bishop may be hesitant to declare someone a full tithe payer on his own information. But then again, if he's been told (directly or indirectly) by the member in some other way he may not feel he should declare as part tithe payer just because they won't come in for tithing settlement.

Our bishop uses tithing settlement to also talk to ward members about any challenges he wants to issue to us or themes he wants to focus on for the next year. If your bishop does anything similar then it may be more productive to emphasize that aspect (which generally isn't part of the temple recommend interview) as a reason to attend.

mycousinbob
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby mycousinbob » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:25 pm

So as far as the tithing settlement goes, the Bishop could just call everyone and ask them? No need to sign up or come in unless the Bishop has another reason he wants to speak to them? Sounds good to me. I must be old school with this. Seems like tithing settlement is no big deal anymore like it used to be. Good to know. Thanks for the replies. :D

russellhltn
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby russellhltn » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:53 pm

Handbook 1 indicates details will be provided by the area office. The Letter dated 15 Sep 2019 says the details are in LCR. I would review the instructions found there.

In my limited experience (a ward clerk many, many years ago in a singles ward), looking at the numbers, it seemed pretty easy to determine the status. There wasn't much middle ground between what looked like a full-tithe payer (regular donations totaling to a reasonable number) and the part tithe payers (sporadic donations falling well short.) Still, I'm glad it wasn't my job to make the call.
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eblood66
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby eblood66 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:08 pm

mycousinbob wrote:So as far as the tithing settlement goes, the Bishop could just call everyone and ask them?

Well, personally, I wouldn't discount the handbook's language that members are 'encouraged' to attend tithing settlement in person. To me that means the bishop should at least try to meet with people in person. But again, it's bishop's call on how to interpret that and how to go about it.

mycousinbob
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby mycousinbob » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:58 am

Things change, especially in the last couple years. I believe that tithing settlement is really about your accountability to the Lord. If you are a worthy tithe payer and temple recommend holder, you will do what the handbook "encourages". Fortunately it is the relationship you have with the Lord and willingness to be obedient, not up to anyone else. However the Bishop is a representative of the Lord and he makes an accounting of you as a tithe payer at the end of the year. It is easy to determine if a person is a part tithe payer, but unless the Bishop knows how much you increase is, he cannot determine if you are a full tithe payer. Only you can do that. If a person does not report to the Bishop if he is a full tithe payer, the Bishop can't determine if he is and would mark as a part tithe payer. In my opinion. Thank you all for your comments and you have helped me to be more compassionate and understanding of this principle. :)

chriswoodut
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby chriswoodut » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:49 am

mycousinbob wrote:Things change, especially in the last couple years. I believe that tithing settlement is really about your accountability to the Lord. If you are a worthy tithe payer and temple recommend holder, you will do what the handbook "encourages". Fortunately it is the relationship you have with the Lord and willingness to be obedient, not up to anyone else. However the Bishop is a representative of the Lord and he makes an accounting of you as a tithe payer at the end of the year. It is easy to determine if a person is a part tithe payer, but unless the Bishop knows how much you increase is, he cannot determine if you are a full tithe payer. Only you can do that. If a person does not report to the Bishop if he is a full tithe payer, the Bishop can't determine if he is and would mark as a part tithe payer. In my opinion. Thank you all for your comments and you have helped me to be more compassionate and understanding of this principle. :)


If a person had a scheduled donation every 2 weeks for the entire year, it would be easy for a Bishop to make an educated guess that the person is paying based on their work's pay schedule and is a full tithe payer. Or, what if a person did a single big donation in December? The Bishop doesn't need to know their income to make a judgement if the facts are there.

If the church really wanted to push this issue, they could deactivate all temple recommends for those that don't come into tithing settlement and declare their full tithe status. :)

lajackson
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Re: Tithing Settlement a requirement

Postby lajackson » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:14 am

mycousinbob wrote:If a person does not report to the Bishop if he is a full tithe payer, the Bishop can't determine if he is and would mark as a part tithe payer.

A bishop may use his inspiration and the financial records he sees and declare that a member is a full tithe payer, whether or not the member comes to tithing settlement. If he has any doubt, he will probably declare the member a part tithe payer, but nothing keeps him from declaring that the member has paid a full tithing.

The ideal, of course, is that the member has communicated this to the bishop, preferably in person at tithing settlement.


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